Atopic dermatitis (AD) / Eczema

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by red, itchy and inflamed patches on the skin. It is a condition that often begins in childhood but can persist into adulthood. Eczema comes in seven subtypes (atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis), including the most common, atopic dermatitis.

Functional/Medicine looks at underlying systemic imbalances. It considers factors such as food sensitivities, gut health and environmental toxins. Treatment involves identifying and eliminating dietary triggers, using supplements to correct nutritional deficiencies and support skin health, and addressing gut dysbiosis. Stress management and phototherapy are also important components. This approach aims to reduce inflammation and support the body’s natural ability to heal, providing a long-term solution to skin issues by addressing their root causes in a personalised and holistic manner.

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Case study

Catherine*, female, 42-year-old, retired, London

Address Eczema with Functional/Medicine

Frequent Skin Flare-Ups: Despite conventional treatments, Catherine struggled with persistent symptoms of atopic dermatitis, such as itchy, inflamed skin. Professional and Social Impact: Catherine’s condition significantly affected her professional and social interactions due to the discomfort and visible symptoms of her skin, diminishing her confidence and ability to engage comfortably with others. Lifestyle Limitations: Catherine often avoided activities that might aggravate her skin, such as certain outdoor or social events.

*The case study uses “Catherine” as a pseudonym to ensure confidentiality and privacy.

Some recommendations

Catherine’s Personalised Plan

Dietary Changes: Catherine did an elimination diet that removed identified IgE and IgG-mediated food that worsened her skin condition and adopted an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in nutrients beneficial for skin health.

Supplement Protocol: She began a targeted supplement regimen to support skin repair, reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system and treat dysbiosis and leaky gut.

Lifestyle Adjustments: Catherine incorporated stress-reduction techniques and made lifestyle changes to minimise exposure to environmental irritants. This included avoiding harsh chemicals and using daily red light therapy.

The Results

Catherine’s elimination diet and anti-inflammatory foods greatly lessened her skin flare-ups. Her supplement regimen and focus on gut health effectively repaired and soothed her skin, while lifestyle changes like stress reduction and avoiding irritants further enhanced her healing.

“Dealing with atopic dermatitis was a real struggle for me, as constant skin flare-ups affected every part of my life. Finding relief through red light therapy and steering clear of certain foods and chemicals was a game-changer. It’s truly transformed my life!”